Iran summons Western diplomats over parade attack killing 25

Several Killed As Gunmen Attack Military Parade In Iran Report

Unknown gunmen 'kill, injure several' in attack on Iranian army parade

Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack by gunmen on a military parade in southwestern Iran on Saturday, according to the group's Amaq news agency.

The parade in Ahvaz, a city with a population of more than a million people, was one of many happening nationwide in honor of Sacred Defense Week, marking the 38th anniversary of Iran's 8-year war with Iraq.

"Security forces have restored security in the area but the parade has totally been disrupted", a reporter on the scene for Iranian state television said by phone in a live broadcast.

"In addition to a show of strength, this ceremony is a message of peace and friendship for friendly and neighboring countries", Colonel Yousef Safipour, the deputy commander of the army for public relations said, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

While suspicion immediately fell on the Arab separatists in the region, who have mounted previous attacks, several top Iranian officials also pointed fingers at Israel and the United States. "However, to their dismay, the Iranian nation will persist on the noble and prideful path they have taken and will - like before - overcome all animosities".

"They are not from Daesh (Islamic State) or other groups fighting (Iran's) Islamic system ... but they are linked to America and (Israel's intelligence agency) Mossad", he told state news agency IRNA. Iran has been deeply involved in the fight against Isis in Iraq and has aided embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad in his country's long war.

State media reports say around 20 people, including a child and women, were also injured in what the Iranian media termed a terrorist attack. To bolster his claim, he gave details about one of the attackers that the AP could not immediately verify.

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Iran has ballistic missiles with a range of up to 3,500 kilometres (2,200 miles), enough to reach both Israel and United States bases in the Middle East. Rouhani said the USA withdraw from the nuclear deal was an attempt to get Iran to give up its military arsenal.

"And if the enemies and arrogant powers have an eye on the borders and land of Islamic Iran they will receive a pounding reply in the fraction of a second".

In this photo provided by the Iranian Students' News Agency, Revolutionary Guard members carry a wounded comrade after a shooting during a parade in Ahvaz, Iran, on September 22.

Iran also suffered major attacks by IS extremists on June 7, 2017, when militants assaulted the parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in the capital, Tehran.

That assault shocked Tehran, which largely has avoided militant attacks in the decades after the tumult surrounding the revolution.

Tensions between mainly Shi'ite Iran and mostly Sunni Saudi Arabia have risen in recent years, with the two countries supporting opposite sides in wars in Syria and Yemen and rival political parties in Iraq and Lebanon.

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